Archive for February, 2007

Traffic On Google Maps

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Google has added real time traffic conditions to Google Maps for San Jose and Bay Area freeways. Clicking “Traffic” in the upper right of the map will display color-coded lines over the freeway(s). The colors represent how fast/slow the traffic is moving:

– green indicates that traffic is moving more than 50 mph

– yellow 25 – 50 mph

– red is less than 25 mph

– gray when no data is available

The View from Above

Do you work in an office that doesn’t have a window? I have window but while I can easily tell if it’s raining out, I can’t tell if there’s a break in the clouds coming up or if the sunset is glowing orange or pink. So I skip my browser over to the San Jose State University Department of Meteorology’s webcam.

Mounted atop Duncan Hall and pointed downtown, the webcam offers a wonderful view of the city and sky. The image refreshes every three minutes.

Not only is the webcam fun but weather junkies can be easily amused by visiting the department’s website. It’s a graphic and data feast, I tell ya. I couldn’t even begin to explain anything about the weather but it’s great to have access to such information – and a lovely view to boot.

Parking in Downtown San Jose

Before you come downtown, don’t forget to consult this excellent guide:
San Jose Downtown Parking Map.

Come Home Jeff

146325.jpg Though assisting the Eagles to the playoffs, the Gilroy born San Jose State, and San Francisco 49ers Quarterback, Jeff Garcia, is now a free agent.

Jeff, Minnesota is way cold–don’t do it, think Oakland Raiders. Think making Willow Glen your home again.

Dial 2-1-1 for community services

211scc.jpgThere is a new number to call for information about community services available in Santa Clara County, 2-1-1.

This new 2-1-1 service connects you to various information including support groups, drug treatment, elderly needs, homework help along with how to volunteer or provide assists during a crisis. The service is available in English, Spanish, Vietnamese, Tagalog, Mandarin, and 140 other languages, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, it’s free, and anyone can call regardless of age or income. The call is confidential.

A few of the services include:

  • Basic human needs – food, clothing, shelter, rent and utility assistance
  • Employment – unemployment benefits, job training, vocational skills
  • Health – crisis intervention, support groups, drug and alcohol programs, Medicare info
  • Seniors and persons with disabilities – living skills, home health care, transpiration, delivered meals
  • Children and families – homework help, after school programs, mentoring, tutoring

Wireless callers dial: 866.896.3587

TTY dial: 866.390.6845

The 211 service is also available in San Francisco.

For more information about the service and United Way’s involvement, check here.

Just When You Thought it Was Safe

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Oooohhh Boys! I think she’s come back for her noon feeding!-“Jaws”

Dun dun dun…Just when you thought it was safe to take the kids back to Mountain View’s Cuesta Park another child was attacked by a squirrel .

Back in September of 2006 I posted Squirrels Gone Wild. It looks as though the Cuesta Park Squirrels are still preying on unwary small children. Thursday a little 4-year-old girl received scratches on her face as she lost the battle over a bag of snack chips.

A Done Deal?

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As morning and evening commuters make their way along the Guadalupe Parkway (HWY 87) one thing that stands out, after the yellow ducky atop the The Children’s Discovery Museum, is the big blue building shimmering in the sun.

Though one of the city’s more recognizable landmarks, the Sobrato Tower at 488 Almaden Boulevard has been standing vacant, like an elephant in our living room, since its completion in 2002.

The Silicon Valley began to show signs of a slowdown in 2000. With the area having a high unemployment rate from 2002 through 2003, the wisdom of erecting a 17-story, 381,000 square-foot downtown office tower should have seemed unadvisedly a bad idea.

Over the years there have been ideas, rumors, offerings, and deals that fell through. The idea to make it City Hall went nowhere, the offer to eBay got a no thanks, and the deal with NVIDIA Inc didn’t happen.

Now we hear that BEA Systems Inc is going ahead with their plans to make the blue tower their headquarters. If all stays on schedule the deal to buy will close in April.

I’m sure the City of San José will benefit from the buying power of the new guys on the block, but this brings us back to that morning and evening commute. Think of the impact that the added BEA employee’s vehicles may have on the already busy 87 and 280. Will this be a case of be careful what we wish for?

Mardi Gras in San José

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For the majority of Mardi Gras revelers and downtown business owners, it was party time in San José last night. Early in the evening the only complaints may have been with the SJPD controlled pedestrian diversions, which were designed to keep the crowds moving.

Later the atmosphere began to change as a group of mostly young men began turning over news racks, breaking windows, and jumping on cars. Though damage this year was less than that of previous years this is a big problem that needs addressing.

Mardi Gras, or Fat Tuesday, may be synonymous with wildness, but it should not be a licence to vandalize. Some of those brought into custody will probably only be charged with misdemeanors, and set free to repeat their deeds during the next celebration. Bold actions should be taken against the underage. If that means hauling their parents into court and holding them accountable for the actions of their children, so be it.
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49ers New Coach

images-9.jpg The 49ers say they are moving to Santa Clara, and I would like nothing better. A stadium near the Great America amusement park would be the perfect location. Their training camp is already in the area.

The new Special Teams Coordinator for the 49ers, Al Everest, will be riding in my taxi later this week. I wonder what I should ask him?

National Pancake Day

pancakes.jpgTuesday is National Pancake Day. IHOP is celebrating National Pancake Day (also known as Mardi Gras, or Shrove Tuesday) by giving away a free short stack of pancakes from 7am to 10pm. In return, they ask you to make a donation to support local charities.

More info here.

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